The second to last event of the 2012 season kicks off this week in Mexico at the Guadalajara Country Club where tournament host and 27-time winner on the LPGA Tour Lorena Ochoa makes her first appearance since 2010.
The fifth annual Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Banamex and Jalisco highlights a star-studded field of 36 players vying for a $150,000 first-place prize from its $1 million purse. Scotland’s Catriona Matthew looks to defend her title for her 5th career victory following a powerful performance at last year’s event where she won by four-strokes over Anna Nordqvist and I.K. Kim. The 18-year veteran enters the week after adding her fifth straight top-10 finish to her résumé this season at the Sunrise LPGA Championship presented by Audi.
The field also consists of six of the top-10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings including No. 1 Yani Tseng, No. 2 Stacy Lewis and No. 4 Inbee Park.
Lewis is coming off her fifth-career LPGA victory at the Mizuno Classic where she came from a seven-stroke deficit to defeat second-round leader and JLPGA member Bo-Mee Lee. Lewis strengthened her lead in the Rolex Player of the Year race to 214 points giving her a 58 point lead over Park, who leads the 2012 Official Money list with more than $2.1 million.
Tseng also had strong performances throughout the Asia swing with back-to-back third place finishes in Korea and Taiwan, finishing with a fourth-place finish in Japan.